Prevention of Thiamin Deficiency

ID-10068988Deficiency of vitamin B1 (thiamin) can cause two major deficiency disorders in humans, beriberi and Wernick’s encephalopathy. That is why it is very important to prevent deficiency of thiamin and prevent the deficiency disorders. The prevention of deficiency of thiamin is not difficult, it can be done by educating people about the deficiency disorders and how to prevent them.

Recommended daily allowance of thiamin:

The requirement of thiamin is not fixed like many other vitamins. The requirement of thiamin is based on the number of calorie intake per day and it is approximately 0.5 mg per thousand kilo calorie (Kcal) of food intake per day (if a person is consuming 2000 Kcal per day he/she need 1 mg of thiamin in diet). The body storage of thiamin is approximately 30 mg and if more thiamin is consumed, it is lost in the urine (as thiamin is a water soluble vitamin).

Prevention of thiamin deficiency:

Thiamin deficiency disorders (beriberi and Wernick’s encephalopathy) can be eliminated by educating people (wherever it is prevalent) to take balanced, mixed diet with rich thiamin foods. In rice eating regions rice should be undermilled and preferably parboiled (undermilling and parboiling prevents loss of thiamin from rice). Alcohol consumption should be stopped (reduced). Food rich in thiamin are fresh vegetables, gram, yeast, legumes, pulses etc. and should be consumed in liberal amounts.

Direct thiamin supplementation to particular groups like pregnant and lactating women is another approach to prevent thiamin deficiency. In general thiamin deficiency disappears if economic condition improves due to intake of variety of foods.

Special cases like patients on dialysis should be given thiamin on routine basis and also it should be given to persons who are on fast for long duration, suffering from persistent vomiting and are on prolonged gastric aspiration for some medical condition.

 

“Image courtesy of Sura Nualpradid / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”.

 

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